Health education, promotion, disease prevention heart of health care

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Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa

STAKEHOLDERS in the health sector have cited educational campaigns and disease prevention as key factors in providing affordable medical care.

BY KHANYILE MLOTSHWA

Speaking at a workshop organised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Bulawayo at the weekend to align health laws with the new Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights section, participants urged the government to urgently introduce the mooted “sin” tax on beer and tobacco products to fundraise for health programmes.

“Probably sin tax must be expanded to include a special tax on fast foods; and legalising, regularising and taxing sex workers,” one participant said.

Some of the participants were of the opinion that medical aid societies must be compelled to contribute to a fund for health education so as to reduce incidences of illness.

“If medical aid societies don’t fund the promotion of good health habits, they must know that the cost will be too much when their clients fall sick and make claims,” one participant said. “On another level, the State should invest a little bit more in health education and promotion. The State stands to benefit by preventing diseases. The cost of treating and taking care of sick people is much more than the cost of ensuring that they hardly get sick in the first place.”

Participants said the State should also seriously invest in the training of health care educators.

“These efforts will work well if the government ensures that the larger population has access to good water and to good food,” one participant said. “People also have to be educated that while one might have a right to a clean city, that right is linked to the responsibility to keep the city clean.”

The government, through an inter-ministerial task force, is currently working on ensuring that all laws are compatible with the Constitution adopted in a referendum in 2013.

Ministries are going around the country soliciting stakeholders’ views on various laws that they administer.

1 COMMENT

  1. its noble to reduce incidence and prevalence of diseases through health education and promotion but i that can not be done without personnel and resources to drive the agenda ahead. the min of health needs to act fast and convince chinamasa that health of the nation comes first and then security of individuals comes later. there are a good number of graduate health promotion practitioners as well as Environmental health guys who are ready to help the nation but Parirenyatwa talks about this at rallies with nothing at cabinet level to live the fact. ZNA, police and airforce have recruited in preparation for 2018 elections whilst min of health is stuck with qualified and unemployed cadres.

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